Texas Almanac, 1952-1953 Page: 41
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BRIEF HISTORY OF TEXAS.
marched under the Green Flag, which is
recognized by some authorities as having a
legitimate claim to a place among the sover-
eign flags of Texas. Admission of this claim
would raise the customarily recognized six
flags to seven flags. No recognition was ever
given by any foreign government to the new
state, yet it is a fact that during four or five
months in the spring and summer of 1813,
Spanish sovereignty in Texas was completely
deposed; a formal declaration of independ-
ence issued and a constitution written. Capi-
tal of the new state was at San Antonio. In
view of the difficulties Spain was having in
Mexico, it might have been a successful new
nation, but dissension arose among the mem-
bers of the expedition and the caable Gutier-
rez was deposed from leadership. The Re
publican Army of the North finally met de-
feat at the Battle of Medina on the Medina
River southwest of San Antonio, Aug. 18,
1813. in an extraordinarily bloody conflict in
which most of the thousand or more members
of the expedition were massacred by the roy-
alist forces under General Arredondo. After
the battle, Arredondo established himself at
San Antonio and directed a slaughter of
Texas adherents of the republican movement,
which constitutes one of the tragic chapters
of the chronicle of this era
Two expeditions aimed at making Texas
independent were led into Texas by Dr.
James Long of Natchez, Miss., in 1819 and
1821. In the first, Long captured Nacog-
doches and went to Galveston Island to en-
list the aid of the pirate, Lafitte. While
away his followers were defeated and dis-
persed. He led his, second expedition from a
new base at Point Bolivar on Galveston Bay.
and captured Goliad. Later his force was cap-
tured in this town. Long was sent captive to
Mexico, was paroled in 1822 and killed shortly
afterward. His followers were later released
Though assciated with some of the free-
booter element of his day, Dr. Long was
undoubtedly motivated by a sincere desire to
free Texas from Spain. Mrs. James (Jane
Herbert Wilkinson) Long worked valiantly
for her husband's cause. A marker erected
by the Centennial Control Commission at her
old home near Richmond, Texas, proclaims
her the "pioneer of Anglo-American women
in Texas." She is sometimes referred to as
the -*Mother of Texas.
A prior but less significant expedition was
that of Philip Nolan, an adventurous char-
acter of the Texas-Louisiana border, in 1800-
01. Nolan had been a successful trader and
had led several expeditions over the border
to capture wild horses. He had fallen under
Spanish suspicion in connection with the Burr
conspiracy. In his expedition of 1800-01, osten-
sibly to capture wild horses, he was accom-
panied by only eighteen or twenty men, and
was defeated in a battle with a small force
of Spanish troops on the Brazos, near the
present site of Waco, losing his life in the
conflict. His nine surviving followers were
carried to Mexico and one of them, Ephraim
Blackburn, was hanged in 1807 after a long-
delayed decision which awarded death to one
of the prisoners by lot. Only one, Peter Ellis
Bean, is known to have regained his liberty.
Aury and Lafitte.
While adventurers were infesting the east-
ern border of Texas and trying their fortunes
in westward expeditions, the Texas coast,
notably Galveston Island, became the harbor
of pirates. Luis Aury, who, like Gutierrez,
had been an adherent of Hidalgo established
himself at Galveston Island and did a success-
ful privateering business in 1816, eventually
sailing away on an expedition against Spain
in Mexico, where he met defeat.
*The City of New Orleans is also sometimes
called the Mother of Texas.
He was succeeded by Jean Lafitte (also
spelled Laffite and La Fitte by some histori-
ans) who had operated his ships prior to the
War of 1812 out of headquarters off the
mouth of the Mississippi. Lafitte's enterprise
at Galveston thrived from 1817 until 1821,
privateering against the Spanish commerce in
the Gulf. In 1821, however, some of his men
attacked vessels flying the flag of the United
States and his Galveston base was closed by
the United States Navy.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ANGLO-
In 1821, three hundred years after the first
visit of white man to the coast of Texas, the
vast wilderness between the Rio Grande and
the Sabine was broken by only three out-
posts of civilization-San Antonio, Goliad and
Nacogdoches. The promising start that had
been made by the missions had been partly
lost during the period of stagnation between
1793 and 1821. The population did not exceed
7,000 white people. There had been a general
backsliding among the Christian Indians and
the white population itself was an unstable
The seat of government at San Antonio was
far removed from Mexico City, and because
of the slow means of communication, the
Governor of Texas was never sure that the
regime under which he had received his com-
mission had not been overthrown. There was
an infiltration of Anglo-Americans across the
eastern border but these, until the coming of
Austin's colony, were largely of the free-
booter type. On the eastern border lay the
"Neutral Ground," harboring adventurers
and serving as headquarters for adventurous
expeditions into the province. The wide ex-
panse of Texas itself was little better than a
"no man's land."
Moses Austin Visits Texas.
At this point the destiny of Texas pivoted
on the decision of a single man. Moses Austin
of Missouri, native of Connecticut who had
been interested in lead mining in Virginia
and Missouri, came upon hard times and de-
cided to cast his lot with Texas. He traveled
from his home in Missouri in 1820 to San
Antonio to seek permission to establish a
colony of Americans in Texas.
At San Antonio, through the intercession
of Baron de Bastrop, he was permitted to file
a formal application with the viceroy of
Mexico. He returned to Missouri overland.
dying from hardships suffered during the trip
soon after reaching his home, but his dying
request was that his son, Stephen F. Austin,
carry out his plans for establishing the Texas
colony. Austin had received word just before
his death that his request of the Spanish
Government had been granted
Stephen F. Austin was well qualified for
the adventure. A native of Virginia. he had
received a college education and had joined
his father in the frontier territory of Mis-
souri. At the time of his father's death he
was in New Orleans studying law. Stephen F.
Austin traveled to San Antonio over the
upper road and came to an agreement with
Governor Martinez relative to the establish-
ment of the colony. This was in August.
1821, and Austin was in his twenty-eighth
year. On his return trip to the United States
he made a detour through the territory lying
between the Colorado and Brazos below the
San Antonio Road and chose this area as the
site of his colony.
He had been given permission to settle 300
families and the terms were that "each head
of a family and each single man would be
granted 640 acres with 320 additional acres
allowed for a wife and 160 acres for each
child and 80 acres for each slave." Austin
was to receive 12 c an acre from each set-
tier. with which -he was to attend to the
details of surveying, perfecting titles and
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Texas Almanac, 1952-1953, book, 1951; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117137/m1/43/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.